Sunday, January 24, 2010

To Sleep, Perchance...


"It's age-related," says J. when I tell her of the last few weeks of interrupted or non-existent sleep.

I'm not ready to concede. "I'd rather blame the cat and his insistence on draping all 11 pounds of himself across my feet so that turning from one side to the other wakes us both fully. I blame the economy - who can sleep when bills loom unpaid, when my income grows ever smaller and sorrier while prices climb as high as my eyebrows at the sight of them? And how about late night snacking? The lack of conscientious exercise? Reruns of MASH and Seinfeld? The ancestors that lurk just out of reach of the long arm of Ancestry.com, necessitating hours of extra research? And people who insist on calling my telephone number after 9 p.m.?"

"It's age," sighs J. "Once you get to where we are, your body doesn't need as much sleep. It gets plenty of rest during the day. You walk more slowly, you sit down more, you nap a lot. Age."

"But," I sputter, "I'm on my feet almost all day!"

"Yeah, but when you sit down do you drop your head in your hands and take a three minute nap?"

I had to admit that happens now and then. Once last week, right in the middle of the day, I stopped into the ladies room for some relief. I sat, dropped my head in my hands and woke with a jerk a minute or two later. I felt like a jerk, though no one had seen me.

"But," I explain to J's knowing grin, "I didn't get much sleep the night before. Because of the cat. And the bills. And..." but the rest of what I was going to say was lost in her guffaw.

I have to admit, too, that late afternoon naps are something to which I've taken a distinct liking. I curl up on the sofa, pull a throw over my shoulders, adjust the cat on my feet, and slip into a pleasant hour of unconsciousness where nothing bothers me. The world I awaken to is always a better place.

Perhaps it is age. I used to rise with the sun and run and run until well after dark. I still get up before dawn but it gets dark here in the winter at 4:30, folks. To go to bed well after dark puts me between the sheets at about 7:45.

The only thing I can think for it is to stop aging. As soon as I figure out how to do that, you'll read it right here. Meanwhile, shhhhhh... I'm napping!